As a PC gamer and somebody who is born in the 80s and grew up in the 90s, I am pretty nostalgic about my old time favorites. I bet everyone is when it comes to epic games we’ve all enjoyed back in the day. Nowadays, the gaming industry has advanced in a direction where it has made the transition to mobile devices long ago, and even though this new mobile generation began with the development of games specifically for these platforms, developers have also worked on adapting some old PC fan favorites to mobile gadgets, in order to indulge us and keep us onboard the gaming market.
Some PC games can be ported to mobile with no particular problems, others cannot and are in need of some modifications, or some cannot even be adapted at all. Since the transition process began, I must admit I’ve secretly hoped and prayed for some of my favorites to be ported.
‘Why don’t I just keep on playing them on my PC?’ you ask… Well, as time goes by some of them are not even compatible with newer operating systems, and besides, old games are often published for mobile devices as an enhanced or remastered edition, bringing about some visual or other improvements. And, finally, I have to admit it is kind of neat to have a pocket edition of my favorite old-school game always at my fingertips, just for those little moments of joy I steal from my everyday busy life.
So, my top 5 PC games ported for Android are based on my personal taste and old gaming habits, and I will list them regardless of the order because I can’t decide which one is more dear to me. The titles are Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, Grim Fandango Remastered, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, King’s Bounty Legions, and Half-Life 2.
Since I planned to make this article a mini-review and a nostalgic take on the games I mentioned, I would like to say a few words about each one of my picks. Some of these games are free on Google Play, some cost a bit more than you might expect, but I shall try and give my opinion on that as well. Although, I will probably tell you that they are all worth the cash since they all bring warmth into my heart, probably yours too…
So, here we go.
Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition
Planescape: Torment is a title which sends shivers down my spine, for it is as I recall the best story-driven RPG I played as a kid. Now, I wasn’t even aware of half the things happening back then, because I was still in elementary school and my English was questionable, as well as my ability to pay attention, but I remember that the grim atmosphere of the game immediately had a hypnotic effect on me.
As the years passed, I kept coming back to it, and each time understood more about the game and about what is probably among the best stories I ever experienced in my lifetime.
As far as the mobile gameplay goes, it is practically the same experience as it is on the PC. Most of the game requires you to click the things visible on the screen anyway, and it is the same on mobile, only the details might be a bit smaller. But, the game looks that much better and really feels the same as it did back in the day when those kind of graphics were the cutting edge for the time.
The game has 10 thousand downloads on Google Play, which is I have to be frank, about as much as I expected really. I do not expect many people today to have the desire to play it, even the people who played it back then, so when you think about it there are that many hardcore fans which downloaded it on Google Play. The number is also probably limited by the fact that the game costs $ 10.19, which is not a lot considering its quality, but it does make it less compelling for people who only like FTP titles.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
There are both Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 for Android as enhanced editions, and I need to include them both if I am to be honest. This story either goes as a complete saga, or it doesn’t go at all. Joking of course, as each part is an epic experience. The first story was written by Lukas Kristjanson, while the sequel was written by Drew Karpyshin, the guy who also wrote Bioware’s Knights Of The Old Republic story, was the lead story writer for Mass Effect 1 and 2 and has even written several books for the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
The game itself is I think the first game in which I got acquainted with the mechanics of leading a party of characters. It functions pretty much the same on a mobile device, as you can pause the game and set your characters actions, same as before, with easy touchscreen clocking, and then just watch the show and enjoy. The mobile enhanced edition will have naturally a bit smaller details then you are perhaps used to when playing it on PC, but it looks amazing and it will impress you again.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition has the achievement of the #1 Top Paid Role Playing game on Google Play, with over 100 thousand downloads. It used to cost $ 10.16 but is currently $ 1.88.
Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition still costs $ 10.17, and it has half of the downloads as the first one, so a little over 50 thousand.
Both games are approximately around 2 GB and work perfectly in my experience on any device with decent characteristics.
Grim Fandango Remastered
Grim Fandango is among the first three PC games I’ve played in my entire life, not counting black and white version of Prince of Persia on the infamous 486. The other two are StarCraft and Discworld Noir. I remember the first time I watched the game’s intro and the scene where Manny Calavery advertises the “Afterlife Journey of the Soul” to the newly arrived soul to the land of the dead, and then later climbs down from the lifts he is walking on to appear taller and packs his scythe neatly into his inside pocket. It was pure gold for me then, and it still is now.
Since the game is point and click, or in this case touch, you won’t be having any problems adapting to the mobile gameplay style. In fact, I think it is even easier and more natural – you simply touch the desired part of the screen and watch the magic. If you haven’t played it before, the game will surely win you over with its original humor, colorful characters, and intricate and never boring puzzles. The story writer is Tim Schafer, who signed many Lucas Arts games back then. He is also known for Full Throttle, Psychonauts, Broken Age, Brutal legend, and has even participated as a designer on all of the Monkey Island editions.
Grim Fandango Remastered looks really well but keeps the game’s original atmosphere with the Jazz music and the cinematic presentations intact. Its low polygon characters didn’t need too much reworking and the backgrounds were also unchanged because that is how good they originally were.
The game has over 10 thousand downloads and a pretty low rating at Google Play store in my opinion. It costs only $ 4.99 to buy, which is a trifle for this old classic.
Now, I just need to get one thing out of the way first and say that I prefer to play FPS games on my PC. It feels more natural to me and I am used to it, but I kind of get it that there are people who really have no problem with playing shooters on their mobile devices. However, I just had to include this game into my list because it was pretty badass back then, with an incredibly immersive campaign storyline and, as you all well know the same engine was used to run Counter-Strike, which is probably one of the most popular shooters of all time, as well as to run other Valve games even today.
The games incredibly well-designed campaign, with its post-apocalyptic levels and sci-fi atmosphere, is enough to draw in any lover of single-player FPS games. Since the game is played on a smaller screen, it will appear a bit better looking, and the mobile gameplay style is well organized with lots of added features to make your gaming easier.
Half-Life 2 is an exciting game that will bring back the old adrenaline spikes once you start shooting aliens with futuristic weapons in a CS-player friendly environment. It costs $ 9.99 to buy, but in my opinion, its immersive campaign alone is well worth the cost.
King’s Bounty Legions
For all those of you who are not familiar with this game, or are having trouble placing the title, this is the game similar to Heroes of Might and Magic from the 90s, but it is actually 5 years older than HoM&M. It is considered to be the forerunner of the turn-based strategy, fantasy video game genre, and that earns it an honorary place on any list tied to the genre, in my humble opinion. It was designed by Jon Van Caneghem, the same guy who developed Heroes of M&M series and was also published by New World Computing.
The first difference between this game and HoM&M is that King’s Bounty is a single player game, while Heroes of M&M have the hot seat and other multiplayer options we all cherished throughout the years. I loved and played all King’s Bounty installments over the years, and they were regularly coming in, with the latest coming out in 2014 I think. This mobile platform version however required some radical changes to the gameplay style, and so, as a result, it feels like a slightly different experience, but still quite good if you ask me.
The other difference between Heroes and this game is that in King’s Bounty you do not have days, i.e. moves that you turn once you’ve spent all your options. You simply go about your business in a real-time strategy environment, but the combat is naturally turn based and it is not different at all on mobile.
The story and the entire campaign is made anew, so no older PC editions were meddled with, which is nice.
This game is completely free and has amassed over 1 million downloads, making it the winner in that category on my list, not that it was a competition. But, I still think it speaks a lot about the game and its tradition, as well as its high-quality gameplay and 4.3 rating on Google Play. I enjoy playing all editions over and over again, and I love having this one in my pocket, next to my heart.
So, there you have it folks, those are my picks, which are solely based on my individual taste. Some honorable mentions I think I should put here include the GTA series, Carmageddon, Tomb Raider 1, The 7th Quest – Remastered, Doom 3: BFG edition, and so on. But, this list of top 5 PC games ported for Android I compiled for you is, as I stated at the beginning, based on my nostalgia and the classic games we played before which are now available for mobile devices.
These top 5 PC games now available for Android I think show the quality and their ability to withstand the test of time and technology. They are also, as you undoubtedly noticed, pretty much story driven with immersive worlds and campaigns, which in my opinion are the main qualities new games today are lacking, in general. They have it all: the story, the addictive playstyle, ingenious dialogs, colorful characters, and they are all reminiscing of a time in our lives, mine at least, when we were lucky enough to play them.